Saturday, February 16, 2008


Off the wall

Montevideo, like most big cities, has its share of graffiti, mainly indecipherable scrawls on dumpsters, houses, and statues. Our Uruguayan friends told us that graffiti became much more prevalent after the economic crisis of 2002.

As an economist, "The economy is the cancer of the world" caught my eye, but even more striking was a conversation, of sorts, painted along the wall of Pocitos beach. An exuberant Christian had painted several city blocks of the wall with a stream of religious statements in bold letters. An atheist had responded to every saying with cursive spraypaint, so walking along the beach, it read "GOD LIVES" "inside your stupid head" and a dozen more couplets.

Other graffiti was spray-painted support for soccer teams (PeƱarol and Nacional being the most visible) or rock bands (many US and European groups from various decades). Some of it was political, either party slogans or independent outcry. And some were declarations of love or simple declarations of the writer's existence. There were two genres of artistic graffiti, over-sized NYC-style paintings and smaller, and often more interesting, stencil work.

Here is a video slideshow of my graffiti photos from Montevideo:

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Wow! Cool Chuck! I didn't know you had such a keen eye for street art! And I love your new title screens and credits! Way cooler than the old blue stuff--and that last picture of you, hah! You're ready to be a politically active media artist! Awesome...And, these songs you find, excellent. Great post bro.

Oh, I had a great molleja today at Mercado Puerto, and a Patricia! Jeje. Shoulda been there... ;)

Oh, I bumped into Ambassador Baxter--he says hi. And you shoulda seen these two tourists come in off a cruise boat...on segues, or Segways, or however it's spelled--you know, those little scooter, you shoulda seen the stares and smiles they got rolling around Ciudad Vieja--the graffiti capital....

Great post Chuck. Keep them coming!!!
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